The department of tourism Kashmir organized an on-site live demonstration of Islamic Calligraphic works of noted artists and students at newly constructed Tourism Information Centre near Jamia Masjid Srinagar here.
The event known as Khush Khat- a celebration of Islamic Calligraphy in Kashmir – was inaugurated by the oldest surviving calligrapher from Srinagar Mohammad Amin in presence of Director Tourism Kashmir Mahmood A Shah, Secretary J&K Academy of Culture, Art and Languages Dr Aziz Hajini, INTACH’s JK convener Saleem Beg besides known artists, citizens and journalists.
The event is being organized in collaboration with Academy of Art, Culture and Languages and INTACH state chapter.
Around 50 students from different schools of the downtown Srinagar, artists from Cultural Academy and other artists had put on display their calligraphic works in Arabic, Persian and Kashmiri language.
Some of the students of the Institute of Music and Fine Arts, Srinagar had also put the calligraphic works through art and design beautifully on canvas painting.
The event is a part of tourism department’s initiative to promote old city as a heritage corridor.
Director Tourism Kashmir Shah said that Development of Jamia Masjid market including improving lightening and beautifying its surroundings is Rs 4.29 crore centrally sponsored scheme to promote old city for heritage and culture tourism.
“We have rich heritage, culture, art and craft in this area of downtown. We want to preserve and promote it. This weeklong calligraphy event is one of its components which will help us revive and reclaim our ancestral calligraphic art,” said Shah.
Many tourists are visiting downtown Srinagar to see historic places sites of Jamia Masjid, Khankahi Moula shrine, Khwaja Naqshband Sahib shrine, Budshah tomb besides historic markets Maharaj Gunj.
Many artisans who are associated with age old handicrafts of carpet weaving, papier-mâché, copperware art etc are from Srinagar.
“This center will provide all the information of the rich culture, heritage, art and craft of the old city to the tourists under one roof. We will have brochures here of all the art and craft and the historic places in downtown which visitors can read and know about this place,” said Director Tourism Kashmir.
INTACH’s JK convener Saleem Beg said people should know the rich heritage, culture and the art of this place.
“Every third person in downtown Srinagar was good at Calligraphy. We have many places in downtown known by the name of the arts which was mostly the occupation of the local population, “said Beg.
Some of the calligraphic works of the displayed art were purchased on the first day by the locals.
Ishfaq Ahmad who has displayed his calligraphy in Arabic, Persian and also in Kashmiri language sold most of this calligraphic works to locals on the first day only.
The department is also planning more such exhibitions to promote Srinagar heritage under one roof.